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Greg Biffle says he's got a winning Ford, so maybe that drought is about to end

  Greg Biffle says he's got the confidence side of this performance equation down pat....now if the car will just perform too (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   JOLIET, Ill.

   Matt Kenseth isn't very happy here...teammate Carl Edwards is busy trying to defuse whatever that thing was with Kurt Busch at Daytona....and Greg Biffle is, well, is the Biff in a good mood or a bad mood, or just what?
   Jack Roush's 1-2-3 punch hasn't had much punch this season, and the Ford camp keeps sending mixed messages to the rest of the NASCAR world.
   Are things getting better, or not?
   Well, apparently whichever, it's not for lack of trying...though sometimes it almost seems like the shotgun approach.  
   "We haven't had the performance this year we have wanted, we all know that," Biffle concedes. "But this weekend we seem to be better."
   And he points to some tips picked up from Kasey Kahne, in the area of the front suspension.
   Getting these cars to turn in the corners has been the trick.
   While teammate Kenseth gripes, Biffle insists "our car seems to be fairly competitive.
    "I like the way it is turning. It has pretty good grip. And I am happy with how it felt. I am looking forward to tomorrow night because I think we can have a good run."
    Kenseth seems skeptical.
    But Biffle points out when crew chiefs are changing so many things on these cars, it's frustrating.
    "When you come to the track with something you haven't raced before, something different than what you have been doing -- and let's face it, what we have been doing isn't working, so we have to try something different -- if that doesn't work, or if it is close but you have to continue to work on it, you are then behind automatically," Biffle said.
    "Like we unloaded and were terrible tight. But we changed things and got the car running pretty well...driving really well. It was extremely fast -- the easiest car I have had to drive with speed.
   "Those are good signs."
    But it's all new suspension stuff.
    It's been like this much of the season.
   "This was completely different than we have ever run before," Biffle says. "This was an experiment.
   "When you experiment, you are normally not going to be right on. But we were damn close."
   So is this going to be the weekend that Ford finally gets on the Sprint Cup scoreboard?
  "The perception of how we are running is based on the speed of our cars...which is not that great," Biffle says.
    "We have great durability, and smart drivers, who are giving us the best finish we can get each weekend.
    "That has kept us alive (in the playoff race).
    "But now I feel really good about tomorrow night's race. I feel I have a car I can win with.
     "Half of it is confidence -- and I have that part."

     So Biffle is upbeat.
     But change the topic, to Pocono Raceway, and the mood quickly changes.
     A few weeks ago Biffle was very critical of the Pennsylvania track, in terms of safety, and said NASCAR needs to ensure the track owners make needed safety improvements.
   "It is clear we have come close to hurting people there,"  Biffle says.
    "If you saw Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. and Steve Park upside-down going down the guardrail....and they haven’t changed the race track there.
    "It is a matter of time (until there is a serious injury)."
    First, Biffle says the grassy sections next to the racing surface need to be changed, possibly to asphalt runoff, as other tracks have done.
    "That grass, at 200 mph, you can't control your car if you end up there," Biffle said, pointing to the Kahne-AJ Allmendinger crash there in the June 500.
    "There have been several spectacular crashes there...and they are pretty scary wrecks.
    "Kasey Kahne just about got over the top of that (outside) wall and into those trees.
     "Kevin Harvick had tree limbs in the trunk of his car from debris flying around.
    "That is a bad spot on the track. They would be better off putting an inside wall there, like they have at Indy. Then you can't go off into the grass."
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   Car owner Jack Roush (L, here with rookie Colin Braun) has a lot on his plate, a lot (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

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